German is not a language widely spoken in Australia but remains like it is in many other parts of the world where there are significant immigrant communities that have their origin in Germany, Austria or other German-speaking parts of the world. Australian citizens of German descent are the sixth most numerous in the country, behind Australian, English, Irish, Scottish and Italian. 4. 5% of Australians in the 2011 census claimed that they had German ancestry, even though only 108,000 people in the country were actually born in a German German-speaking.
Many people who claim German ancestry may have ancestors who came to Australia a long time ago. There were several waves of immigration to Australia, often coinciding with times of economic downturn or political upheaval in Europe. Some of the greatest numbers of early German immigrants sought to seek asylum in Australia when Germany became increasingly militarised in the mid-nineteenth century. Many early German immigrants settled in South Australia and Victoria and these two states still have the highest percentage of Australians who claim German ancestry today as well as people who can speak German to one degree or another.
While there are many different languages now spoken in Australia and several hundred indigenous languages, there is no official language of Australia. There is no national language recognised as well, despite the fact that English by far and away remains the most important language of communication. German immigrants may still prefer to use German in their own families and children born in these immigrant families may learn German from their parents, but it is likely that they can all speak and understand English as well as any other Australians.
English German translators are still important in Australia but not necessarily as intermediaries between German origin Australians and the rest of the country. Germany is such an important trading partner and the key component of the European Union, that any effective communication between Australia and Germany itself must involve professional German translation services.
Apart from German-speaking Australians and business between German-speaking countries and Australia, there are thousands of German visitors who come to Australia every year. Some come on business, or as representatives of organisations of all kinds, while many others come as tourists. Many young Germans take advantage of the chance to work on holiday visas in Australia. It’s a way to practice English, earn some cash and see Australia. Some end up staying more permanently and that’s when translators may come in handy again, as it’s a time when documents must be translated scrupulously into English by accredited translators for visa applications.